I just wanted to take a moment, before the quiet celebration begins, to wish all of my fellow bloggers a very happy and healthy new year!! May we all be blessed with continued words, wisdom and hilarity in the upcoming year. Many blessings to you all.
I am a huge NFL fan….I have been since I was old enough to know what I was watching on television. Maybe that was my initiation into becoming a tomboy, who knows? Regardless of which came first, the pigskin or the scars, I am who I am.
I was fortunate to meet some good friends in 1999 who ran a fantastic restaurant and an equally great football pool. Back then it was on a piece of legal paper, hand-written, with a relatively legible set of football picks. I had explained to these two dear gentlemen how much more impressive it would be to have an Excel spreadsheet that could total wins automatically and the gauntlet of running the pool was immediately thrust into my hands. Since 2003, I have grown the pool from twenty participants to sixty-five. I am affectionately known as “The Commish” during my favorite season of the year – football season.
During those many years, I have only been close to the big prize once – and after a horrific showing in week 17 of the regular season, I dropped from first place to fourth place in a matter of hours and right out of the money. For years, it was known as the ‘crash and burn’. This year, I find myself going into week 17 tied for first place and the memories of that fatal crash are bubbling to the surface. My heart is racing (thankfully I took my blood pressure meds this morning) and I needed to find a distraction to quell the feeling of sickness in the pit of my stomach. Hence, this blog post. I apologize for what could be seen as needless drivel, but writing not only distracts me, it calms my nerves.
I will be truly happy for the winners, whatever the outcome, but it would extremely uplifting to overcome that stigma of being the sorriest pilot in the NFL pool flight academy.
The large screen beckons, the green turf is inviting and the voices in my head are telling me to trust my gut. That may be difficult since my gut may be sent hurtling across my living room soon, but I’ll give it the old college try!! Go Chargers!!
The tryptophan is still fresh in my blood stream and thankfully the swelling in my stomach is slowly abating. With another Christmas celebration successfully under my loosened belt, it’s time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the imminent beginning of a new year.
This past calendar year was filled with many hurdles. Within running that footrace and jumping those hurdles, I discovered a well of strength I didn’t know I possessed. That yet untapped reserve was a shimmering pool of hope and that cleansing water, along with the support of family and friends, helped me find a long-awaited feeling of inner peace. I was given a promotion at work, enjoyed the many changes in my physical appearance, gained a new self-confidence and found a true sense of freedom after closing the door on an unhealthy marriage.
Within those defining moments, I found myself again. I rediscovered the happiness that had been suppressed and I delighted in its giddiness as it bubbled back to the surface. The smile on my face became genuine and no longer felt like a mask. I began writing this blog and my inner voice had finally found the tool in which to extricate itself from my brain. I began truly living and not just going through the motions.
Adversity is a learning tool, and I chose to attend every class to absorb each lesson that was taught. I learned a great deal last year in the school of life and I look forward to carrying that knowledge into the beginning of a new year and another fresh start.
I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t want to limit myself to focusing on a few things, but would rather deal with each day as it presents itself and deal with those days in the most positive way I can. With the impending arrival of that new calendar year, I am eagerly anticipating a fresh start. I look forward to caring for old friendships and strengthening new relationships that were developed. I look forward to continuing to do a job I love and I look forward to listening to the persistent writer’s voice that wakes me from my sleep.
Come on 2013 – I’m ready for you!!
My Christmas holidays are a mere sixty minutes shy of becoming reality. My body and my mind are both looking forward to an abundance of cheesy holiday movies, quality time with my dog and making more holiday memories with my family. My bloggers brain will be on hiatus for a few days – although I’m sure I won’t be able to quiet those voices for long.
It’s time to Freshly Press myself into some fleece jammies and watch my world turn into a snow globe from the comfort of my living room.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you who amuse me, inspire me and affect me in a positive way!!
Ah, those prophetic Mayans and the havoc they can wreak. The world has been abuzz with rumors of the end of the world on December 21, 2012. I’m sure there are zealots out there madly packing the rest of their doomsday supplies into their bunkers and preparing for the implosion of our glorious Earth.
Let me first say I am NOT among the people who believe our world is coming to a complete and tragic end, but there is always that part of my brain, the part that I access when I am writing fiction, that leads me to ponder the calamity of that potentiality. Within those firing neurons of my creative mind, the mottled dark clouds of possibility hover and the water that saturates those clouds nourishes the seeds of the garden of my imagination. If the world does end in a cataclysmic event of epic proportions, there are a few truths I would like to state for the ethereal record.
I can admit that I have had impure thoughts, but that can only prove that I am human. I can also say that I have loved deeply. I can say that I have tried to suck as much marrow out of my life as possible, and I have learned a great deal about myself in the process. I can say that I made mistakes, learned about the person I truly am and I gained self-confidence along the way. I gave myself the freedom to express myself through this blog, the courage to believe that people would want to read it and find meaning within those words that I so carefully crafted.
I can say that I have seen the breathtaking beauty of the constellations unencumbered by the glare of the city, and I have watched the Northern Lights undulating like a green blanket across an otherwise blackened sky. I have enjoyed the rich elegance of the four seasons and found a deep beauty within each of them. I have made a snow angel, cried after watching a television commercial and known the overwhelming sense of bereavement after losing a loved one. I can say that I have showered in the rain, and I have I can say I left this world comfortable to be the person I have become. I can say that, while on this orb we call home, I truly lived.
If the Mayans merely ran out of time, material and energy to continue their calendar beyond December 21st, 2012, I will be back to pontificate on many more polysyllabic profundities. But if the Mayans were right and there really is no tomorrow – what would you want the world to know before you departed this life?
It bit me again. As I lay cloaked in my duvet, caught in the vortex of my latest dream scape, it methodically crept under the covers and sunk its pearly whites into my unsuspecting, dormant flesh. It released its powerful venom and as that viscous liquid began to flow through my blood stream, I awoke with the need to put words on a page. In a frenzy, I searched for pen and paper and began to jot down thoughts trying to keep up with the pace that my brain had set. The perpetrator of the bite nonchalantly sat at the edge of my bed, grotesquely picking the dirt from under its nails. As I continued to help the ink flow at the same hurried pace of the ideas that struck me, the writing bug simply smiled at me. It waved, jumped from my bed and left me alone with my thoughts.
(Image courtesy of Google)
In the waning moments of my unconsciousness, the characters permeated those forced waking moments and began to breathe a life of their own. The inspiration was so overwhelming I had to leave the shroud of that warm duvet and sit at my computer in those wee hours to keep up the with the feverish flow of creativity.
More than a few minutes later, and after several disgusted glances from my dog, the characters were freed. Their stories were recorded to their satisfaction and I was released from my graveyard shift of being their stenographer. I put the laptop to rest and the dog and I headed back to the warmth of my bed and drifted off into an uninterrupted sleep for the rest of the night.
The light of the new day welcomed me from my slumber. As I shook off the remnants of my sleep, the lingering images of the characters I had created in my semi-conscious state hovered like images in cartoon balloons above my head. Vague recollections of the story line pieced themselves together although some details were still caught in strings in the web of my groggy brain.
The elusive writing bug escaped in the early hours of dawn and the puncture wounds are no longer visible from the late-night violation of my sleep. The only forensic evidence that remains from my harrowing hopefully-soon-to-be-published experience are the scattered words on the pages.
Does that late night bug ever visit you in your sleep?
I needed to post something positive after being glued to the TV all day and following the events in Newtown.
At the end of November, Homesick and Heartstruck nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I mistakenly filed the notification email and feel guilty about not saying a very tremendous THANK YOU!! When fellow bloggers recognize your words as having affected them in a positive way, it is inspiring to feel that your words truly do matter.
The rules of the award are to dispel seven myths about myself and nominate fifteen other bloggers for this award. I’m not sure if there are seven show-stopping bits of drivel that won’t send you running in another direction, so I will save you the ocular discomfort of having to read them. As for nominating only fifteen bloggers for this same honor, I can’t choose only fifteen. Without sounding completely trite, all of the bloggers I follow inspire me in some way. Your comments keep me motivated, your likes cause me to smile and the words in your posts make me laugh, make me cry, but most of all they make me think. I find you all very inspiring and hope that you will post the award on your side bars!!
Recently Angie at Angie’s Grapevine nominated me for The Blog of The Year for 2012. Another honor which I greatly appreciate. It is always humbling being recognized by fellow writers for just doing something I have a passion for. Some other blogs that fuel that same passion in me that I would like to recognize are:
Angie’s Grapevine – she strives to post every day and is very encouraging with her comments
Dianne Gray – I would like to have her brain in my head
onthehomefrontandbeyond – thought-provoking reflections on life
Homesick and Heartstruck – poignant stories of struggling so far from home
Honie Briggs – keeping the blogging world amused and connected
Teeny Bikini – always amusing, I love to laugh
(And though I know some of you listed above no longer accept awards, I wanted you to know that your words inspire me!!)
Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award!
The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:
- Select another blog or other blogs who deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award;
- Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award;
- Include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award at the Thought Palette and provide these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
- Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
- You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
- As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…
Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different! When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!
There are a total of 6 stars to collect. Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!
Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges – there are six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swap’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!
Thank you for the shout-outs and I hope we can all continue to inspire each other!!
Senseless, targeted, horrific violence affects everyone. It seeps into the very core of our being and floats our empathy to the surface of our emotions. Yesterday’s devastation in Newtown affected the world. It sank deeply into the hearts of people across the globe and left a scar that will never completely heal.
Everyone in the world wants to know why, but that is an answer that may never fully find a voice. The news coverage is quick to remind us of many other abhorrent acts of extreme violence, but this one is the most sickening. They were so young, barely beginning their journey in this world. And the ones who survived will carry with them an early memory of childhood marred by true evil.
The news in Canada continues to be splashed with the images of those poor families. Many of the comments on Facebook immediately jumped to gun control, but it should go so much deeper than that. It seems nonsensical that an armed man with no real affiliation to that school should be able to walk in off the street and change the lives of so many people on a dreadfully permanent basis. It truly will affect anyone that has a child of their own, or even a child in their lives in any facet.
The cloud of grief that blankets the small community of Newtown may never fully lift from their skies. In time, the outpouring of love and support from their community, and the energy of that same support from all over the world will hopefully help the sun begin to warm the cold reality that they currently face. My heart is broken for the family and friends of the victims of this shocking catastrophe.
Our presence on this revolving planet was never meant to be simple or straight-forward. Without a heaping portion of challenges and quandaries thrown into the recipe of our existence, the end product of our being would be bland and predictable.
Life has a way of making us feel like we are in a batting cage with no bat. There is no helmet and no way out of that metal encasement. The fastballs keep coming at 97 mph and we are powerless against their velocity. As much as we try to dodge that line of fire, and even the ricochets, we end up being pummelled by a few of those spherical missiles and feel like those cage walls are closing in, trapping us in the hail of projectiles.
Feeling overwhelmed can be akin to travelling barefoot in the snow. Regardless of the direction we go, that path seems to stretch to eternity and every road leads up an insurmountable hill. The harder we try to keep up the pace and the level of energy required to reach our destination, the more difficult the trek becomes. We lose interest in the journey, we lose feeling in our extremities and each step sinks us further into the vast collection of flakes, making us feel defeated and hopeless.
This feeling of absolute frustration becomes much more evident during the holidays. I have been noticing a myriad of posts lately about people feeling the holiday pressure – pressure to be the perfect host or hostess, to find the perfect gifts, to choose and display the perfect decorations, to create the perfect meal and to create memories of a perfect holiday.
But some of my best holidays were far from perfect. The gravy was lumpy, the turkey was dry, the tree was on a 30 degree angle from centre and, as she does every year, my mother had left most of the price tags on our gifts. It still happens on an annual basis and it will continue to be one of my favorite memories of our Christmas holidays.
Take each day one at a time. When you feel like you are being swallowed by the maelstrom, stop and take a moment to breathe, remember to take small steps and find one piece of scenery that makes you smile. Hold that picture in your mind until you see another small piece that makes you smile. Before you know it, you’ve made it through the mayhem, completely intact, and you’re still smiling. That uphill battle to get through the holidays has levelled to a flat surface and those frosty feet no longer feel cumbersome and lifeless. And maybe you will realize that the holiday isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s just there to spend time with friends and family and to simply be enjoyed.
Although this subject line was “borrowed” from a Cheers episode from many years ago, it seemed to aptly portray my mood. Perhaps the pathetic fallacy of the mottled grey sky and shards of freezing rain were a foreshadowing of what my mood would evolve into today. Regardless of the cause, the outcome was a mixed bag of lethargy and despondency that I am not used to experiencing.
I am that annoying person that can always see the silver lining in any cloud. My glass is always half full, and the sun will always come out tomorrow. I don’t want you to think I have rainbows projecting from my nether regions, but I pride myself on being that positive force in the room. Although there may be an occasional prism of colors that expounds from some orifice, it generally refracts from the smile in my eyes.
Everyone has their down days. It’s what helps bring balance to our world and makes us appreciate those good days that much more. After several hours of wallowing in my funk, my mood thankfully did not mature into a self-perpetuating cycle of angst and commiseration. I did not send out invitations to my pity party. Instead, I gave myself a proverbial slap in the face and snapped out of my self-purported misery.
After returning home, all is right with the world. The glass of wine is poured and the words, once again, are cascading from the recesses of my brain and spilling out through my fingertips. The earth is back on its axis, the glass is still half full (although I’m doing my best to empty it), and the smile is back on my face.
How do you deal with the bad days?